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Decision points

Decisions, decisions...

First decision point

First decision point

Last edited: Sat 29 Dec 2018

The whole point of orienteering is to make decisions about where you go, otherwise it's just a cross country run! "Decision points" are places at which a choice must be made.

At the basic level this will probably be a path junction, where the decision is left, right or straight on. Sometimes there is only one sensible way to go, but other times there are several possibilities. It's no good flying past the decision point and then realise later that another way was better.

Here are two examples from our Blackborough Galoppen back in 2008.

In the first example control 5 is on a junction. To go to 6 there are two path options: head south on the big track or head west on the smaller track. It's also possible to go diagonally across, but personally I wouldn't choose that because of the undergrowth. Control 5 is a classic decision point. Rather than charge off straight away, have a quick think about the options and decide which way is best.

The second decision point

The second decision point

In the second example from the orange course, there are perhaps numerous ways to go from 6 to 7, each with a few decision points on the way. I have marked up two possible routes with decision points on each.

For example, at control 6 itself the path forks, so a decision needs to be made straight away. If 13 taking the southern path, there will be another decision point at the edge of the field. The decision then needs to be made where to aim for on the other side of the field.

Can you see any other possible routes and decision points?

Richard Sansbury

  • Skilling Up- Hints and Tips for Improvement #3, from QuOnicle 151, November 2013